What Is the Proper Way to Set a Table?


Quick Answer

In a proper table setting, the plate sits in the center, the fork on the left and the knife and spoon, in that order, on the right. The water goblet or glass goes above the knife. The napkin sits either to the left of the fork or on the plate.

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What Is the Proper Way to Set a Table?
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Full Answer

There is also the option to include a bread plate and butter knife. If including these elements, place the bread plate above the fork and the butter knife on top of it, at an angle such that the tip points approximately up and the knife handle points to the center of the plate. The blade of the primary knife should always face into the plate in the center.

Emily Post suggests two helpful methods of remembering the proper table setting rules. The first is to think of the word "FORKS." Use this tool to remember that the fork, which starts with F, sits to the far left of the setting, the plate, represented by the round O, is the center and the knife and spoon, represented by the K and S of the term, sit to the right. To remember the proper placement of the bread plate and drink, touch the thumb to the index finger. When doing this, the left hand forms a b and the right hand a d, indicating that the bread - b - goes on the left and the drink - d - goes on the right.

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